Family luxury in London at The Athenaeum

Are you lucky enough to be going to the Olympic Games in London next year? If you are, and you’re in the market for luxury family accommodation, look no further than the swish experience that is The Athenaeum.

There is lots to say about The Athenaeum’s incredible location in the heart of London, its fine design, its inspired ‘living wall’ and its colourful history but I’m a little obsessed by this – the Kids’ Concierge.

Understanding that when the kids are happy, the grown-ups can relax, The Athenaeum has a Kids’ Concierge to take care of all sorts of child-related details from personalised welcome packs containing their favourite snacks, books, games and DVDs to sorting out Frisbee throwing, kite-flying and picnic fun in Green Park.

The Kids’ Concierge gets in touch with parents before arrival to organise the special treats. As well as having everything your kids love to read, watch and eat ready, they can also organise tickets to shows, design child-friendly itineraries and give you the heads-up on the lesser-known gems of London such as the Puppet Theatre Barge.

There’s also complimentary mini-bar (unlimited ice-cream anyone?!), bedtime warm milk and cookies, a children’s menu (designed by kids), mini bathrobes and slippers and more toys and games delivered to your room with a quick call to the concierge. Don’t be surprised if the kids change their names to Eloise after The Athenaeum experience!

Can it get any better? Yes. The Athenaeum has a full nanny service for in-house babysitting, and a playroom that is regularly redesigned with a new theme. Presently, it’s all about Winnie the Pooh and this even extends to Pooh picnic hampers for the park, crammed full of treats including honey roasted ham sandwiches, honey cheesecake and Pooh toys for outdoor fun.

The Athenaeum has numerous options for accommodating families including cots in rooms, adjoining rooms, suites and spacious family apartments. There are eighteen self-contained apartments adjoining the hotel proper. Despite a separate entrance, guests at the apartments have full use of hotel facilities as well as the convenience of having their own kitchen.

The Athenaeum is perfectly located for exploring the city and the surrounding streets and sights read like the Monopoly board. In front of The Athenaeum is the magnificent Green Park and just beyond that, Buckingham Palace. Cross Park Lane and you’re in Hyde Park or head in the other direction to Piccadilly Circus or a spot of shopping on Regent Street.

Mention must also be made of The Athenaeum’s stunning ‘living wall’. Designed by Patrick Blanc, the living wall, or ‘vertical garden’ maximises green space in a big city. The plants are planted onto plastic plates which are supported by metal frames attached to the wall of the hotel – the result is beautiful.

Rooms at The Athenaeum start from £160 a night and bookings can be made online.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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